Spain’s domestic service staff get improved rights

Radical proposals to improve the working rights of domestic services staff in Spain are under consideration after the Spanish Ministry of Labour sent its recommendations to trade unions and employer associations last month.

Domestic service workers in Spain currently receive significantly less than other employees in terms of social security benefits. But the government is proposing to give them the right to request a written contract from their employers outlining working hours, remuneration and other terms and conditions.

If the guidelines are approved, domestic staff will be able to register with the General Social Security System and receive financial assistance in cases of work-related disability. The government aims to have all domestic employees registered on the scheme by 2017.

Domestic service staff will also be given the right not to be dismissed without a justifiable reason. In the event of dismissal, it is proposed that the employer would have to pay the same severance compensation as for other employees (45 days’ salary for each year of service).

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